Today, during my PCM, I got to have a great conversation with a man who has been devoting his life to the city. He grew up in a rough part of Chicago and through sports and men coming along side him, he was able to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and the like. In his words, “I stayed on the straight and narrow.”
From then on he hold us about how a coach (basically) mentored him and 30 other guys as they participated in sports. “Each of those guys,” he said, “are now involved in some kind of program.” Each of the guys he grew up with, who was mentored, are now participating in helping the children of Chicago get off the streets. They have started after school programs and sports teams to benefit the city at cost to their own comforts.
The problem? He is not a Christian. He is doing all of these great things but he does not profess Jesus Christ as his savior. He sacrificially gives of his time, money, and energy to benefit someone else.
Often Christians like to look out at the world and say, “look at how much we have done! We are such a benefit to everyone around us. Praise God for us. We have a corner on goodness and morality.” This type of thinking is foolish.
It is foolish, and incorrect, to think that we have a corner on goodness and morality. Arrogance pervades our minds when we think that we can serve better, be better, and help more people than non-christians.
As Christians we should be freely admitting that we DONT have that corner. We know that we aren’t good, which is why Christ came for sinners. He came to show us that we are not good, while we may be able to do “good” things for those around us, fundamentally we are not good. To look down our noses at non-Christians who are serving and still believe “if only they served like us” or “they are not as effective” is the antithesis of Christianity. Christ condemned that kind of religion.
We have much to learn from non-Christians. Obviously, I will never say that the Gospel should be compromised. However, a non-Christian father may parent his kids better than a Christian father or a Christian may not be a better student of culture than that of a non-believer.
Let us not believe that we have any corner on morality. Let us not be arrogant about service (doesn’t that seem to defeat the purpose). Let us believe that Jesus is our goodness. Our joy and service is rooted in Him. Lets come humbly to learn life skills from non-Christians. Let us put off elitism and religion for a violent pursuit of the Gospel.
This non-Christian man has a greater heart for the city than I. I have much to learn from him. Jesus, let my learning remain Gospel centered and Christocentric.
What are some ways you can learn from non-Christians?